Introductions take time, and oh so much patience

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One of our “souveniers” from our holiday trip was a Jack Russell Terrier named Buddy. My husband has also tagged him with the nicknames, “Boudreau” and “Spuddy.” but that’s another story.

Two adults in a one-bedroom apartment, with a one-year old child, and another dog, made for crowded conditions which were intensified by the fact that Buddy became flaky around the baby. He guarded the child from birth, but when she became mobile his mood began to change. I love dogs, but my son was right, Buddy had to leave before something happened.

So of course…….

The first test

Before officially adding the dog to the household, we had to make sure he and Kodi (the corgi) got along. This was a road trip, and there was no way I was breaking up fights in the back seat for more than 2,100 miles.

Car ridersThe dogs were driven around, and passed the test. A few days later, we were off. A few times I looked in the backseat and only saw one dog. That was because Kodi was either sitting on top of Buddy, or had him squished against the door.

At hotels we put them in their individual cages when we were out of the room.

New dog fears

Understandably Buddy had no clue as to what was going on. On the road I would catch him staring out the window. Looking out the window  It’s hard to explain to a pooch that this is the best for him. In the apartment he was being shuttled between rooms so he wouldn’t have contact with the baby. He would have full run of our house.

He is slowly figuring out that he has a new home, and is safe. But still, sometimes I find those big, woeful brown eyes asking, “why?”

Homesteading

Buddy is younger than Kodi, or so we think. Kodi is 9 years old, when he arrived as a youngster, he drove my sweet Labrador, Shadow, a senior citizen at the time, to distraction by running under her. Shadow was tolerant to a point. She and Kodi had their “words.” Now Kodi is the senior citizen dog and is getting a bit of payback.

There have been a couple of scraps, Kodi defending his territory, and Buddy trying to establish himself in his new home. This is clearly evident when the go out to potty. Kodi raises his leg, Buddy waits and then remarks over the same area.

We continue to take them out together. They have to co-exist. We are a family. I believe separating them will only intesify the rivalry.

The cat

In all of this, Samantha seems to be more of a bystander. Maybe Buddy doesn’t know what she is, but he ignores her.

Best Friends

I have no expectations that they will become best friends. That’s OK. My goal is for them not to fight. Considering they are both males, I think we have done pretty well. The process continues, and precautions are taken. I don’t know if I will ever feel comfortable leaving them both out when we are not home.

Your experiences

There are “experts” about animal behavior. In my experience, dogs and cats, and even birds, are not a “one-size-fits-all” deal. Each is very different, and how you approach things should reflect this. You can read books and blogs, and even take them to obedience classes, but it is important to recognize your dog or cat, as an individual with their own personality. An excellent source is to listen to how others have addressed issues like this, and take bits and pieces from all, until the puzzle fits for your family.

If anyone has experience – stuff that worked – stuff that didn’t, please share. I would enjoy hearing from you.

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Check out my weekly Pet Dish  column, Fridays, at PalmCoastObserver.com, for more tips and tales.

 

 

 

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1 comments on “Introductions take time, and oh so much patience”

  1. I am not surprised by Buddy’s reaction to the toddler. I have heard and seen that they really don’t do well with children. I’m not sure why, but they don’t. I think it sounds like you are doing great with the introductions and creating a new pack.

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